Emerson opens service, training center in Odessa

Emerson President Mike Train said he believes the Permian Basin has the ability to be the epicenter for oilfield innovation.
In the most recent rig count from Baker Hughes, the Permian Basin has 466 active rigs — 44 percent of the total oil rigs in the United States.
Train, other members of Emerson and community leaders cut the ribbon for Emerson’s new service and education and training center Friday at 320 Interstate 20, Suite B in south Odessa. About 50 employees will work at the new facility.
“This region is innovating a lot of things that will be exported to other parts of the world,” Train said. “Along with that, if you are going to use more technology, people’s jobs have to change. If you buy the technology and don’t change the job, you don’t get any return for that money spent. The companies themselves and the rest of us in the community have to think about how the jobs change and how the technology enables that and help people learn those skills.”
Emerson is a technology and engineering company that provides automation technologies and products to help companies optimize production and improve personnel and workplace safety, reliability, energy usage and emissions, an Emerson news release stated. Emerson has presidents appointed to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa.
Renee Earls, president and CEO of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said she is excited about the opportunity for a global company to bring a strong educational aspect to the Permian Basin.
“There are so many companies that have positions open and we need more workers, but they need to be skilled,” Earls said. “They need to have the knowledge. Odessa College does much of that with their companies, but any additional help we can get from companies that can come in and help alleviate some of the need is welcome.”
Train said Emerson has had a presence in the Permian Basin for the last 30 years, while its impact partner and next door neighbor Vinson Process Controls has remained in the area through booms and busts since 1937.
Frank deJong, president of the North American branch of Emerson Automation Solutions, said the company talked about moving into the large facility for the last two years.
“We recognized that we outgrew our previous facility and we realized customers were asking us for more and more local capabilities,” deJong said. “We want to find a facility that had easy access. A facility that customers would recognize and because we are right beside our impact partner Vinson Process Controls has been a partner of Emerson’s for 80 years, it made it even more advantageous.”
Drew Baker, sales director for Emerson, explained the previous building Emerson worked from was a 4,000-square foot warehouse with a few offices and a conference room.
Emerson’s new facility is quadruple the size of its old space with offices, conference rooms, training facilities and a workshop in the back.
“It has been an amazing expansion,” Baker said about the new facility. “If we wanted to have a training center that we have here, we would have to book it at the Hilton one to two months in advance. Now, we can bring in customers and host. We hosted a lunch and learn last month. We hosted 30 engineers from the same company. To be able to do that in one building is a huge advantage.”
Wesley Burnett, Odessa Chamber of Commerce director of economic development, said he believes Emerson’s new facility can help improve the abilities for the workforce in the Permian Basin.
“They are going to bring new ideas and new ways of doing things and hopefully bring some new people out here as well,” Burnett said. “Making an investment in Odessa helps us in the big picture with finding the means to address our challenges that we are having. There’s so much going on right here and they want to be in the middle of it. That’s a big step for Odessa.”